An easy, step-by-step tutorial for how to make Chicken Stock on the stovetop or in the Instant Pot. Making homemade Chicken Stock is the gateway to taking any broth-based recipe to the next level; the flavor is incomparable and you will never buy store-bought again!

A bowl with homemade chicken stock in it.

Why I make my own stock:

  • Healthy and flavorful: Simmering bones to make stock has next-level depth of flavor that you can’t get from chicken broth or store-bought stock and it takes any recipe to the next level! Also, I love knowing and controlling exactly what’s in my stock.
  • Easy: I grab a rotisserie chicken from Costco for $5 and feel good that I can use the meat in several different recipes, and instead of wasting the carcass, I use it to make healthy and flavorful homemade broth!

Difference Between Chicken Broth and Chicken Stock:

The biggest difference between the two is chicken broth is made from simmering the meat and vegetables, and chicken stock is made from simmering the bones, which removes extra flavor and collagen from the bones (which is why stock has a jello-like texture when it’s refrigerated).

You can use stock and broth interchangeably in most recipes, but chicken stock has richer depth of flavor and is highly preferred for recipes where it’s the “star”, like in chicken noodle soup. In my opinion, it’s hugely worth it to make chicken stock from scratch!

How to make Chicken Stock:

Remove Meat from the rotisserie chicken. Place meat in a covered container in the fridge to add to the soup later, or freeze chicken meat for up to 3 months.

Add leftover bones and skin from the rotisserie chicken to a large stockpot. Add carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and water.

Chicken bones, carrot, celery, onion and spices in a pot with water being added.

Bring mixture to a boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer on low for at least 2 hours, or up to 24 hours, for even richer flavor.

A stockpot full of chicken bones, vegetables and herbs cooked together to make homemade chicken stock.

Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer, discarding bones, vegetables, and seasonings so you are only left with a clear, smooth stock. Stir in chicken bouillon.

The ingredients for chicken stock being strained into a bowl.

Store in refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Use to make homemade chicken noodle soup!

Storage and Freezing Instructions:

To Store: Refrigerate the stock for use within 3-4 days. (Note that it will take on a gelatin-like texture in the fridge, but will liquidize once warmed again). After refrigerating, skim off any fat that rises to the surface.

To Freeze: Measure out the stock in freezer safe bags in batches of two cups each. This way, when you pull one out, you know there is exactly 2 cups of homemade chicken stock!

A ladle full of homemade chicken stock.

Instant Pot Chicken Stock:

Place chicken bones and skin, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and water into Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release.

Strain broth through fine-mesh strainer, discarding bones, vegetables, and seasonings so you are only left with a clear, smooth broth. Stir in chicken bouillon. Store in refrigerator for 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Recipes with Chicken Stock:

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Recipe

A bowl with homemade chicken stock in it.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 2 hrs
Total 2 hrs 15 mins
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Video

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 rotisserie chicken , meat removed so you're only left with bones and skin
  • 2 ribs celery , with leaves, cut into chunks
  • 2 medium carrots , cut into chunks
  • 2 medium onions , cut into chunks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 2 Tablespoons Better than bouillon chicken paste* , or 6 chicken bouillon cubes

Instructions
 

  • Place rotisserie chicken, vegetables, spices and water into a large soup pot. 
  • Slowly bring to a boil over medium heat. Skim off any foam that rises to the surface.  
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer on low heat for at least 2 hours or longer.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
  • Strain stock through a fine sieve strainer, discarding all vegetables and seasonings so you are only left with the stock. Season with chicken boullion paste, to taste. 
  • Store in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Skim off the fat that rises to the top. If not using within a few days, freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

Yields about 8 cups of stock.
Better than Bouillon Chicken*: I absolutely love this stuff and always use it to enhance the flavors of my stock. You can omit it, if you want. 
Storing Instructions: Refrigerate the stock for use within 3-4 days. (Note that it will take on a gelatin-like texture in the fridge, but will liquidize once warmed again). After refrigerating, skim off any fat that rises to the surface.
Freezing Instructions: Measure out the stock in freezer safe bags in batches of two cups each. This way, when you pull one out, you know there is exactly 2 cups of homemade chicken stock!
Instant Pot Chicken Stock: Place chicken bones and skin, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, rosemary, thyme, and water into Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow pressure to naturally release, then strain and discard bones and vegetables. Stir in chicken bouillon.

Nutrition

Calories: 178kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 5gFat: 1gSodium: 234mgPotassium: 1052mgFiber: 10gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 20795IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 212mgIron: 2.4mg

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I originally shared this recipe April 2019. Updated September 2021.

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Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

    1. The jelly-like texture is due to the collagen extracted from the bones. That is super healthy!

      It’s good to know that this recipe does extract the collagen; I thought you needed to add an acid like apple cider vinegar to the cooking process to do so. I’ll have to try this now 🙂

  1. I made the chicken broth last night and put it in the fridge overnight. This morning, it’s a jelly-like texture. Is that normal, or should it be liquid?

  2. Why do you need to add chicken bouillon at the end? Isn’t that what the recipe makes?
    Genuinely interested 🙂

  3. Thanks for your leftover chicken recipes! I usually eat the parts I like and throw the rest away. I always wonder if there are any not so good ingredients in those rotisserie chickens. I look forward to trying all of these ideas including the chicken broth recipe. I usually stud one of my onions with cloves and often throw in a few spices that I’m in the mood for. Be careful of using some of the bouillon and other flavor enhancers. They tend to have MSG and other undesirable ingredients. If you have a clean brand that you use, I’d love to know about it!

    1. Msg has been proven to be safe. The whole msg scare was a made up controversy that people accepted and promoted without any research.

  4. 5 stars
    Your recipes are so wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing with everyone. We have absolutely loved all that we have tried. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

  5. I like your bone broth recipe which I need to try one day. My knife skills aren’t the best, so I usually buy Kettle and Fire’s chicken and beef bone broths, which can be a bit pricey.

  6. 5 stars
    Excellent!! This is my go to broth recipe now. I have made it several times now and it turns out so tasty. I use this along with the Chicken Noodle Soup recipe, and that is also a favorite!

    1. Hi Carol, the label is an estimate of the entire broth recipe. The actual amounts will very greatly depending on the size of chicken, how much meat was left on the carcass, whether or not you skimmed any of the fat off, etc.

  7. Great stock idea, similar to what I do for soup. Difference is I have teenagers. We buy two Costco chickens and have just about enough leftovers for Pancit or small amount of chicken salad. I usually use the carcass for chicken noodle soup, but this gives more options for the stock to be used in other dishes.

    1. Dump the skin after the broth. It adds a lot of flavor. The fats skim off when it cools, but the flavor remains.

  8. I’ve been doing this for years! except I make really large batches. I freeze the carcasses until I have 3 or 4, then on cleaning day throw about double your ingredients with the carcasses and let it simmer 4-8 hours. After straining, I’ll divide it into 2 equal portions. One, I’ll divide into 1 cup portions and freeze in bags or containers. The second portion, I simmer in saucepan until reduced by at least half, until it is thicker and very hearty in flavor. This I freeze in ice cube trays to use in saute’s, pastas etc.. Where you want rich flavor with little liquid. Great minds think alike !